Editorial: Good Practice
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My husband, who teaches middle school band and gives private guitar lessons, believes that most kids who want to learn music will practice on their own. But if a child is not practicing, parents should sit down with their child and come to an agreement about practicing. The child should figure out when he has time to practice so that it becomes his responsibility to do what they’ve agreed upon.
Both our boys, however, admit that they wouldn’t have practiced at all or learned to play if I hadn’t forced them. So I have to admit that I’m kind of stumped about the right way to get kids involved in music. You just can’t predict how your kids will react. Sometimes, all the pressure and discipline will pay off, as it did for me, and other times, it will backfire as it did for my sons. Some kids naturally take to music lessons and love practicing, but these are the exceptions, I think.
Considering the benefits, however, it’s worthwhile for parents to try to get their kids involved in music even if they don’t show outright interest. And you do need to make sure they practice, but I’d advise you do it with a lighter touch than I did. As with any garden, you can never be sure what will bloom, but you need to plant the seeds and nurture them. If your kids discover that they love music enough to work at it, they’ll have a precious gift that will last them a lifetime.